Man gets life in prison for near-fatal stabbing

Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 9:11 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 9:11 a.m.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — A man will serve life in prison without parole for stabbing his ex-girlfriend 32 times.

A judge in Clearwater handed down the sentence on Monday, nearly two years after 21-year-old Melissa Dohme nearly died from injuries sustained in the attack. Robert Lee Burton Jr. pleaded guilty to an attempted first-degree murder charge in August.

She recounted the attack in the courtroom on Monday, telling of the months of surgeries and therapy that followed.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Burton stabbed Dohme outside her home in January 2012. She testified that she crawled to a mailbox so he wouldn't run over her as he left.

A trauma surgeon told the judge it was a miracle Dohme survived. He says she was seconds away from dying.

Burton apologized before the sentencing.

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